Reintroducing differences linguistically!

Abha Khetarpal, Satendra Singh

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2016.045


Abstract

Different models have defined the term disability and grouped persons with disabilities accordingly. Time and again, various terms and phrases have been used in different languages to identity persons according to the differences in their bodies and the level of functioning of those bodies. Analogies and metaphors create stereotypes and can affect the formation of an individual’s self-concept. Clichés like “divyang”, ie one who has some divine powers to compensate for the deficiency in the body, based on the supercrip theory of disability, can distort the self-concept and hamper identity formation. Society and the state cannot and must not shrug off their responsibility by using such sugar-coated terms to label individuals. The real requirement is the creation of a nondisabling environment and the provision of equal opportunities to those with disabilities rather than coining of new terms.

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